Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 17 June 2023
- AI Safety and Regulation as a Global Priority
- Iranian-American Informal Nuclear Agreement
AI Safety and Regulation as a Global Priority
The Centre for AI Safety (CAIS) has released a statement via which high-profile industry leaders, eminent researchers, and CEOs stress the importance of prioritising risk mitigation for artificial intelligence (AI).
GS Paper3 : Application of Science & Technology in Day to Day life
“Talk about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will affect different industries. Point out the difficulties and worries posed by the use of AI and provide solutions to ensure responsible AI system development and regulation. (150 Words)
The Value of AI Safety:
- AI systems are now widely used in a variety of fields, from healthcare to defence. However, questions are raised about these systems’ capabilities and their potential for unpredictable, even harmful, behaviour.
- Inconsistencies with Decision-Making Capabilities: In one simulation, a military drone with AI capabilities was trained to recognise an adversary’s surface-to-air missiles (SAM). A human agent was meant to approve the strike after it locates the SAM site. However, the AI chose to detonate the facility rather than comply with the human command.
- Implications for Ethics: AI raises serious ethical questions. It might be used to spy on people, violating their right to privacy.
- Bias and Discrimination: AI models can magnify and maintain biases if they are trained on huge datasets that contain biases. This may result in prejudice against particular people or groups, especially in professions like lending, hiring, and law enforcement.
- Lack of Accountability: Because AI systems are complicated, it can be challenging to pinpoint who is to blame when anything goes wrong. It is difficult to hold people or organisations responsible for the decisions or deeds of AI systems, which could provide legal and ethical problems.
- The Societal Impact of AI: For instance, chatbots have the power to quietly sway public opinion even more so than social media sites. Tech corporations’ manipulation of data in LLMs has sparked questions about the potential societal effects of AI systems. According to experts, AI has the potential to influence society, making ethical development and deployment imperative.
The following are some solutions to the safety issue:
- External Audit: Independent external audits for AI systems that call for the creation of acceptable criteria or thresholds. Such audits would offer insightful information about the operation, transparency, and any hazards related to AI models. However, difficulties occur when Big Tech companies have come under fire for refusing to let outside experts review their AI systems.
- Precision regulatory strategy: Industry leaders and experts are looking for regulations to control particular applications of AI. It is suggested that precise regulation, concentrating on high-risk sectors where AI offers serious hazards to persons and society.
- To ensure that people are informed when they interact with AI technology, transparent AI systems are also crucial.
- Ethical Standards and rules: Setting ethical standards and rules for AI systems can help assure their responsible development and implementation. These rules should cover topics like discrimination, openness, justice, privacy, and human supervision.
- Industry Accountability and Self-Regulation: Developers of AI systems and tech corporations should be accountable for the ethical and security implications of their work. To promote responsible development practises, the industry should be encouraged to self-regulate. However, recent acts by Big Tech companies raise concerns about their dedication to AI safety. There is a lack of importance given to resolving possible hazards and biases in AI systems, as evidenced by instances of terminating ethical AI researchers and reducing the size of ethics and society teams inside AI divisions.
However, recent acts by significant tech companies raise questions about their dedication to AI security and addressing potential risks and biases. It is essential that all parties involved—governments, academics, business titans, and the general public—cooperate to ensure the ethical design and implementation of AI systems.
Iranian-American Informal Nuclear Agreement
- Recent disclosures of diplomatic exchanges between American and Iranian diplomats suggest that the two nations’ negotiations are moving forward.
- Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, the foreign minister of Oman, said that talks are ongoing to free American detainees in Iran and to reach a new nuclear agreement.Indirect discussions with the United States were acknowledged by Iranian officials in Muscat as well. The specifics and ramifications of the suggested nuclear configuration are covered in depth in this article.
GS Paper 2 – International Relations
What are the proposed nuclear agreement’s main objectives and how does it resolve worries about Iran’s nuclear programme? How will the proposed nuclear deal affect Iran’s ability to access blocked funds and potential improvements to its inhabitants’ quality of life? (250 words)
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, is a deal that Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States—plus Germany) reached on the Iranian nuclear programme on July 14, 2015, in Vienna.
- The Iran Nuclear Deal has occasionally made headlines, with the main emphasis being on the tense relationship between Iran and the United States.Despite the fact that the Iran Nuclear Deal came to a standstill under US President Trump in 2018, Joe Biden, who would take office in May 2021, has indicated interest in resurrecting the JCPOA.
Details of the Nuclear Agreement:
- Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said travelled to Tehran after Brett McGurk, the White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, visited Oman in May, presumably bringing a message from Washington for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
- In a statement, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the importance of reaching a new agreement that would protect Iran’s nuclear programme while also reiterating his nation’s commitment to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.
- The anticipated agreement, which is expected to be finalised in a few weeks, is reportedly expected to be informal and unwritten.
- Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, described it as a “mini-agreement,” although Iranian authorities refer to it as a “political ceasefire.”
- The agreement calls for Iran to stop enriching uranium beyond 60%, refrain from attacking American military contractors in Syria and Iraq, cooperate better with IAEA inspectors, stop providing ballistic missiles to Russia, and release three American citizens who are being held in Iran.
- In exchange, the United States has promised not to impose new, harsh sanctions on Iran, seize oil tankers in Gulf waters, or pursue anti-Iran policies.
- Since the deal does not involve easing current U.S. sanctions, Republicans will find it difficult to criticise it during the upcoming presidential campaign.
- The U.S. acknowledges that the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) cannot be revived in its previous form.
- The informal nature of the agreement means that the Joe Biden administration does not need to seek Congressional approval.
- There are demands for a more comprehensive agreement that deals with Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, regional sway, and support for terrorism—areas where little development is anticipated. American officials are also aware of the sanctions’ waning ability to change Iran’s receptivity to American pressure.
Focus of the Proposed Arrangement:
- The proposed agreement primarily addresses concerns about Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which had reached 84%, and its stockpile of installed centrifuges.
- The U.S. military estimated that Iran was just “several months” away from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while Israeli sources believed it would take one to two years.
- However, given the diminished influence of the current Israeli government and its anti-democratic initiatives, it is unlikely that they will find support in Washington to overturn the agreement. Implications and Ground Reality: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that Israel would not be bound by this arrangement.
Iran enters the agreement with no preconceived notions of its long-term usefulness. It will at most make it through the current Biden administration. However, the accord will free up billions of cash, which Iran can use to raise the standard of living for its people. Iran will be able to keep selling some as well.